Waitrose is to remove all plastic bags by next March saving around 550 tonnes of plastic a year.

A home compostable alternative will be used for fruit and vegetable plastic bags.

Waitrose will initially remove 5p bags from six shops from 8 October to understand how to manage the changeover as smoothly as possible ahead of their complete removal in March 2019.

Earlier this year, the supermarket announced it would remove all disposable paper cups by this autumn as a pledge to help the environment.

The supermarket said it is on target to achieve this, with cups now having been removed completely from more than 300 of its 348 shops.

It has also committed to making all its own-label packaging widely recyclable, reusable, or home compostable by 2025 and changes include a pledge not to sell any own-label food in black plastic beyond 2019.